West Midlands Trains recover over £1m from ticketless rail passengers

Revenue protection
Credit: West Midlands Railway

West Midlands Trains has announced that over £1m of revenue has been recovered from rail passengers without a ticket who are using London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway services over the past 12 months.

Revenue protection managers, working for the train operators, have recovered a total of £1,284,746 of unpaid fares during the financial year to April 2019.

  • £876,483 was recovered from passengers on London Northwestern Railway services
  • £408,463 was recovered from passengers on West Midlands Railway services

These figures cover both Penalty Fare Notices and tickets sold to passengers at stations, attempting to board trains without paying.

The train operators issued a total of 19,579 penalty fares during this period. Penalty fares are issued to anyone found travelling on a train without a ticket if they started their journey at a station where ticket purchasing facilities are available. These cost passengers either £20 or twice the walk up single ticket cost, whichever is greater.

95% of the penalty fares issued were enforced, with just 5% being appealed successfully.

Across the London Northwestern Railway network, of a total of 1,163 hours:

  • 705 hours were spent on trains
  • 458 hours we spent at stations

Across the West Midlands Railway network, of a total of 1,343 hours:

  • 487 hours were spent on trains
  • 856 hours were spent at stations

For passengers who repeatedly travel without a ticket, or penalty fares are unpaid, court cases can be heard. In the past 12 months, 3,038 such court cases were heard over the past year, with £462,292.95 recovered in costs and revenue.

What did the officials say?

Sean McBroom, head of on board experience for London Northwestern Railway, said:

“We know that our fare paying passengers find ticketless travel a real issue, and we are committed to tackling this as best we can. We have been trialling a new route-based approach to help inform our revenue protection activity, so passengers will see our teams out at stations and on trains more frequently.

“We always advise passengers to purchase a ticket before travelling – either from station staff, ticket vending machines, online, or via the London Northwestern Railway or West Midlands Railway apps. Anyone found travelling without a ticket will be liable to a penalty fare if they are found travelling on our services.”

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  1. From working on railways and stations myself I believe the fines which are currently being issued should have the minimum fine raised from £20 to £50 as it seems many of these passengers are repeat offenders and will do it time and the again.

  2. I think you mean fare dodgers or fare invaders who don’t buy train tickets or have got invalid tickets and assume that they have brought train tickets that isn’t valid. Which most of them have been caught.

    As UK train operators such as West Midlands Trains, Greater Anglia, c2c etc have seen a increase of fare dodgers dodging the ticket barriers and boarding trains without paying for a train ticket or they got caught red handed on cctv at railway stations that haven’t got ticket barriers and/or by ticket inspectors on the trains.

    And it’s costing the train company and passengers £1000s that isn’t right and the fare dodgers should be banned from traveling on trains if they continue to not pay for a train ticket. Which puts more misery and stress on rail commuters and train operators. And even the train station staff have also been confronted by fare invaders who themselves have been abused, violently attacked and/or constantly tormented by fare invaders.


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